Recently I've been playing some more Dungeon World, this time as a player, kind of coaching an unexperienced GM through the game (it unfortunately requires this, due to the numerous unclarified rules). We're at our fifth session and we've started to really hit it off a couple of sessions ago. Me and the GM often have really nice post-game reflections and the topic of "game as a musical instrument" came up.
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This is the first of a series of two posts related to PbtA games that I wanted to post here on Adept Play after some discussion with Ron in the Adept Play Discord server. There has been some negative discussion and criticism of this family of games (which are, really, all standalone games sharing some vocabulary and a vague design philosophy, and declared inspiration from Apocalypse World).
[S1:E2], 16 Feb 2019
Session 1 recap: The adventurers are at Castle Figaryo for the prince’s birthday festival when the Empress shows up with a military escort. She is ticked that her daughter is missing. The adventurers get into some antics and escape the castle, with the prince Sabin.
Oh golly, let’s see a bunch of guys over-share about how much their characters have been having sex!! ... for those few of you remaining in the room, you’ll see us talk well beyond the boilerplate. Sex has been freed-up in role-playing over the last decade and a half. This seems to have freed us as well into dialing-back and modulating how it plays into everything else, to find some new things this medium-and-activity can do.
It’s given: “Powered by the Apocalypse” is an effective brand, and “Apocalypse Engine” is common usage for a presumed mechanics base. I’m not challenging either of these. I’m investigating what they may mean, and whether meanings differ.
Fiction Synopsis: Our heroes must break into a stronghold of apostate halfling paladins to take back blueprints for trap designs. Plans go awry when the same solar eclipse that allowed our heroes to sneak into the stronghold allows something more sinister to return as well.
So our group started with some collaborative setting creation, and we decided on a maritime campaign (I pushed for it as I wanted something different than the usual tropes, and fortunately everyone was open to it).